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Jeannie Gunn OBE (5 June 1870 – 9 June 1961) was an Australian teacher and novelist who used the pen name Mrs Aeneas Gunn. After her marriage to Aeneas James Gunn in 1901, she travelled from her home in Melbourne to a remote Northern Territory cattle station, Elsey, where her husband was to be manager. Tragically her husband died in 1903 and she returned to Melbourne where she began writing novels.

The Little Black Princess: a True Tale of life in the Never-Never Land was published in 1905 and chronicled the childhood of an Indigeous Australian, Bett-Bett, living at Elsey station. We of the Never Never followed in 1908 and is an autobiographical novel recounting her experiences living at Elsey. By 1945, We of the Never Never had sold over 300,000 copies.

During and after World War I she worked tirelessly to support the servicemen of Monbulk, Victoria who she referred to as “my boys”. She was awarded an OBE in 1939 “in recognition of her services to Australian Literature and to the disabled soldiers and their dependents”. The memoirs of her work with the RSL, My Boys: A book of remembrance, was published in 2000.


We Of The Never-Never Aeneas Gunn

The 100th year anniversary of this well loved Australian Classic.

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